Ann Davison was an airplane pilot and civilian flight instructor for the Royal Air Force during World War II. She and her husband (also a pilot) set out in 1948 to sail to the West Indies in their 70' ketch Reliance. Unfortunately, their shared dream became a nightmare when the boat was driven ashore on the Dorset Coast- her husband Frank was drowned in the frigid waters. Ann survived and although she did not know how to sail or navigate she resolved to sail alone across the Atlantic in a 23' wooden sloop Felicity Ann. In December of 1952 she departed Plymouth England and arrived New York in June 1953- a very slow crossing but in completing the voyage she became the first woman to cross an ocean alone.
1939-47 Worked as a civilian flight instructor with husband Frank Davison
1948 Sets out on voyage from England to the West Indies with husband on 70' ketch Reliance. Only ten days into the trip they were shipwrecked on the rocks off of Dorset in s southwesterly Force 7 storm. Frank perished of exposure in the frigid sea. Miraculously, Ann survived and resolved to sail across the Ocean alone.
1948 Writes Last Voyage about the Reliance shipwreck
1952 December 3 departs Plymouth, England in 23' wooden double-ended sloop- Felicity Ann
1953 June Arrives in New York becoming the first woman to cross an ocean alone
1956 Writes My Ship is So Small about her voyage on Felicity Ann
1988 Inducted to Single-Handed Sailors' Hall of Fame
Items in Collection of Museum of Yachting: left-handed Octant, My Ship is So Small (first edition), original photo of Reliance aground on Dorset Coast